Best of Best of the Boxes in 2017

I subscribed to multiple beauty subscription services in 2017. I subscribed to Ispy, Boxycharm, Birchbox, Allure, and Beauty Beyond Borders. Beauty Beyond Borders stopped its service in February and I was very sad. It had Asian beauty samples that I enjoyed trying and I miss that.

Ipsy was my first subscription and I liked it for the longest time. However, I started getting disappointed with it though and canceled in October. They have looked pretty good in the past few months and I may resubscribe sometime this year. Only 3 samples from Ipsy made my Best of list. So, that says something about the quality of the bags I was getting in 2017.



Manna Kadar Cosmetics Paradise Blush – The warm pink with apricot undertones brightens up pale complexions, but also pops on darker skin…no small feat in the blush world. But even more so than the color, we can’t get enough of the radiant finish that’s just shimmery enough without looking crazy glittery. I have received other products from this company and have liked them.When I first saw this blush I did not expect to like it. The color looked so dark and such an odd shade that I thought it would look awful on me. It did not! In fact, I loved it. This came in Ipsy Bag January 2017. Unfortunately, I dropped it and it shattered. I was so sad because it was such a nice shade.

NYX Professional Makeup Butter Lipstick in Lifeguard – Right now this satin finish is our goldilocks texture. Glossy is too much. Matte isn’t doing the trick. But this is just right! These are so insanely creamy that there’s no need to use lip balm beforehand. I love, love, love getting lip products. It allows me to try new formulas, new brands, and especially new shades. I like NYX products and this is a gorgeous maroon red. I loved the formula, the shade, and the lasting power.  This came in Ipsy February 2017and I  love the shade. It is especially nice for winter. The shade is a good winter shade and it keeps the lips super moisturized.

Pacifica Coconut Blush Duo –  This duo from Pacifica offers two uber flattering shades: Beaming, a muted terracotta and Tenderheart, a soft mauve. Wear them separately or layer them to create a custom hue. Coconut is an actual ingredient, which means built-in, glow-getting, and anti-aging properties. The shades are totally buildable. Try a quick swipe for a subtle hint of color or pack it on for a bold, draping effect. I have so, so many blushes that I was not thrilled to see one in my Ipsy bag. I gave this a try and actually really like it. Tenderheart is a beautiful shade. I have been using this blush regularly since I got it and it is a wonderful blush. It came in the Ipsy August 2017.



Boxycharm is my favorite of all the subscriptions that I have. It is almost always awesome and I have gotten some great full sized palettes in it. It is no surprise that it has the most samples that I considered the Best of Best of the Boxes. I included 7 products from Boxycahrm.

Small Z-Palette – Completely customizable, this small Z-Palette, made exclusively for Boxycharm, features an open-faced, magnetic base that allows you to easily switch out shades and products as often as you like. This pint-sized Z-Palette will fit just about anywhere and fits up to 9 standard- sized round pans.  The retail price for this is $14. This is the cutest little palette ever! This came in the Birchbox February 2017.

Highlight & Contour Palette by IBY Beauty – Sculpt, define, and illuminate your features with the Highlight and Contour Palette. Chic and portable, this PRO-approved kit comes in 6versatile shades. This is a full sized palette and it retails for $40. Some subscribers got a cream palette and some got a powder palette. I am glad that I received the powder version because I don’t do the best job with cream contours. I am liking this a lot and use it almost daily. It is from Boxycharm May 2017.

3 Sheet Masks by Biobelle Cosmetics – Biobelle’s sheet masks give your skin an instant boost, while deeply hydrating and evening your skin tone, revealing gorgeous, glowing skin! Biobelle’s Award-winning TENCEL ® fiber adheres perfectly and delivers antioxidants to your skin faster and deeper. I used 2 of these and didn’t save the packages. They were amazing masks! I will definitely be trying more from this brand. I got these in Boxycharm June 2017.

Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick by Ofra Cosmetics in Santa Ana – OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick is a one-step full lip color that does not feather. This vibrant color will give you a vivacious new look. It is creamy and soft in texture, moisturizing the lips and creating a long lasting lipstick effect. No need to use lip liner, this liquid lipstick gives a beautiful edge to your lip look!  I was afraid that this color was a bit too purple for me but I was SO wrong. I love everything about this lipstick. The bright color is perfect for summer or fall and the formula is super long lasting. I had not been overly fond of Ofra liquid lipsticks in the past but this is a great formula. This was also in my June box. It was a good month.

Blinc Electric Eyes Palette –  This palette features a combination of 5 highly pigmented jewel tone eyeshadows. The shades beautifully pair together to give you a gorgeous, golden eye look. This formula blends effortlessly and is long lasting. This is a gorgeous palette. It has that deep berry shade and neutrals that work well together. The quality is just outstanding. They are creamy and pigmented. I got this in Boxycharm July 2017.

Bare Minerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo –  This silky and ultra-fine combination of setting powder and finishing powder instantly vanishes on all skin tones. Enjoy an even, long lasting, natural looking, luminous complexion. I don’t distinguish between setting and finishing powder, I used the mattifying powder in the fall and the glow powder now that it os cold and dry. I have used it daily for the past month or so. I love it. It was in the July box too.

MODA Pro 3-Piece Brush Set by Royal & Langnickel – This MODA™ Pro 3-piece brush set, features a pointed blush, chisel blender and a crease brush. These brushes will achieve endless looks and can be used with both wet and dry products.  These brushes are wonderful. They are soft and fluffy with sturdy rubberized handles. I have used all 3 and they are very good brushes. I use the crease brush daily ad the blush brush regularly. I don’t use the contour brush much because I have one that I like better. These are quality brushes from Boxycharm August 2017.



I have been on the fence with Birchbox. I have not been happy with it the past few months. I may end up canceling it this year if it continues to disappoint. What I like about it is that it tends to have more skincare and I like trying new skincare. It also offers 3 box options each month. You can choose a specific sample from 3-5 choices, you can choose a curated box that you know what you will get, or you can get a box based on your profile. Having said that, I did include 5 samples from Birchbox in my Best of the Boxes 2017.

derma e® Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask – Sad fact: Each and every day, we collect and encounter toxins and micropollutants (uh…no thanks?). That’s why we choose this 2-in-1 purifying charcoal mask that exfoliates, detoxifies, and purges pores. Thanks to natural clays, apricot seed powder, and other nutrient-rich ingredients, you’ll be left with glowing, whistle-clean skin after just five minutes. If you follow my blog at all you know I love masks and this is a particularly good one. It left my skin looking brighter and so soft. It came in the Birchbox April 2017. It isn’t pictured because I finished it long ago. Read a full review here.

Living proof.® Perfect hair Day™ (PhD) In-Shower Styler – Air-drying doesn’t mean you have to go product-free. Enhance your strands with this convenient in-shower styling cream that adds texture and definition with magnetic texturizers and cationic resins while also making hair easier to manage without looking or feeling like you put any product in it. Formulated with a hydrophobic resin to control flyaways and the brand’s patented thickening molecule, PBAE, for fullness, it gives your locks effortless movement and body that everyone will think is natural. This was a sample choice item that I specifically picked for my box. I don’t blow dry so this works for me. I liked it so much that I ordered a full size from Birchbox and that is the one in the picture. This is especially nice in the winter when my hair looks flat and flyaway. This is from Birchbox May 2017

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser – The best products are those that simply get the job done. This mild face wash does just that by thoroughly cleansing skin without stripping it of moisture or natural oils. Vitamin-rich apricot kernel and avocado oils hydrate and smooth skin while squalane, a signature Kiehl’s ingredient, restores natural moisture balance, leaving skin clean, calm and refreshed. Kiehl’s is one of those brands that I have always wanted to try but haven’t yet. It is a thick cleanser that rinses clean and I really enjoyed it. It left my face soft and clean. It isn’t pictured either because I finished it and threw the tube away. It came in Birchbox July 2017 and I did a full review here.

Acure Organics Day Cream – Consider this face cream the skincare equivalent of a superhero suit. It offers serious protection against environmental damage and free radicals, thanks to an infusion of chlorella growth factor and gotu kola stem cells. Not only does it naturally firm skin and even out tone, but also it locks in moisture for all-day nourishment. Ideal for normal to dry skin. I have tried this before when I got a sample of it in a Target Beauty Box. I know that I like this and that it works for my skin. I used some of my points to order a full size from Birchbox. The full size is pictured because I finished the sample. This is from Birchbox August 2017 and I reviewed it here.

Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner – Don’t fear the liquid. stila’s genius liner turns anyone into a beauty pro. It gets rid of the complication and mess of regular liquid liner by swapping out the usual brush for a marker-style tip. All of a sudden, it’s easy to get a smooth line, and because it’s waterproof, it won’t budge even on the hottest days. This sample is the reason I picked the curated box this month. I love it. It is my very favorite eyeliner and I was thrilled to get it in Birchbox October 2017.


Allure is my newest subscription. I started getting it this summer. Like Birchbox it has been less than amazing the past few months so it may be canceled this year too if it doesn’t improve. I only included 2 items but then I did only get it for 1/2 the year.

Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush in Bali – Cheek color won’t streak or fade; it’s sweat-proof and weatherproof! Silky powder formula glides over the skin for a subtle wash of color. The sheer powder is buildable for a customized look. This is a beautiful shade. The formula is not dry or chalky. This blush was my choice for vacation at the beach this summer. It is a very nice blush that was in Allure Beauty Box July 2017.

Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial – An overnight facial-in-a-jar to address uneven skin tone while improving skin texture for a brighter, more luminous complexion in as little as one night.  OMG, I love this stuff! I got a sample in 5 Faves November 2016 and purchased a trial sized set of this line on Black Friday last year. It is a great product with the most amazing rose scent. I was so excited to get this in Allure Beauty Box October 2017.


Beauty Beyond Borders

As I said above this was an Asian Beauty subscription that ended in February. It was a great way to try out Asian skincare for just $12 a month. I wish I could find something to replace it but no luck yet.

7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti-Pollution Mask – The Açai berry, from the Amazonian rainforest in Brazil, is an antioxidant powerhouse that will purify and neutralize the effects of pollution on the skin. Vitamin C, B, and E help protect, fortify and rejuvenate skin. TreatsSkin damages, Irritation, Skin pollutants. Effectiveness: Minimizes the effects of pollution on skin, Purifies & detoxifies skin, Neutralizes skin-damaging free radicals. This was a coconut gel mask and it was amazing! It was between peel-off covers to keep it saturated. And it was. It was dripping with essence. The scent was very light and fresh. I let it on for almost an hour and when I took it off my skin felt so soft and smooth. Most of the essence had absorbed into my skin and the rest was massaged in easily. My skin looked brighter. The next morning my face felt incredible and had a glow to it. This may be the best mask I have ever used. And I have used a LOT of masks. I have since tried all the varieties in this line.

There were no samples from March, September, November or December. Obviously, Boxycharm was the best box in 2017. I enjoy getting my boxes each month. It is like getting presents in the mail.

Do you subscribe to any beauty subscriptions? What is your favorite? What were your favorite products from your boxes?

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